Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar: 3,000 faithful attend First Communion of 34 children (Photo)
The ceremony took place on April 23, Sunday of Divine Mercy. The catechism lasted five months during which the children learned the importance of the sacrament of the Eucharist. Sister catechist: "We planted seeds of faith and provided them with tools to help it grow."
Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar (AsiaNews) - About 3,000 faithful crowded the Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar Archdiocese parish in the Indian state of Orissa to attend the First Communion of 34 children. The ceremony was presided over by Msgr. John Barwa, the local archbishop, who emphasized how communion is "the most exceptional of all the sacraments. The other sacraments contain the gifts of God, but the Holy Eucharist contains God Himself." Then he added: "God loved the world so much to send his Son Jesus Christ and made sure that he always remained with us through the Holy Communion."
The celebration took place on April 23, Divine Mercy Sunday. In addition to relatives and friends of those who received the sacrament, there were 10 priests and 20 sisters. These included Sister Divya, Sr. Rebeka and Sr. Samuel, who together with Fr. Mrutunjay, prepared the children over five months. Sr Divya says, " “We have planted the seed of faith and gave them the tools, information and experience to help the students to grow in faith, helping the children understand what it means to receive the body and blood of Christ. Our hope is that their knowledge and faith increases yearly and that they will understand in their hearts as adults”, she added.
Catechists reported that lessons provided insights on the importance of the sacrament of the Eucharist. Then before the day set for the ceremony, the children carried out a final exam. Fr. Prasanna, parish priest of the church, states: "First Communion must be [a] beautiful and memorable moment. The true focal point of this holy and special day must remain the sacrament itself, since the little ones are welcomed to the Lord's table. "
Sunny John, father of Bimal John, one of the children who received the sacrament of the Eucharist, remembers "as Saint John Chrysostom said, that communion pours great inclination to virtue into our souls a and a promptness to put it into practice. And at the same time infuses into us a great peace, through which our path of perfection is made very sweet and easy. " He also concluded, "There is no sacrament as capable of triggering divine love in souls as the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, in which Jesus Christ gives himself to us so we can all join him through holy love".